Hilary and I had taken over the leading of this at short notice and we were pleased that we numbered 11 , despite the dire weather forecast. Rochester was holding a two day Dickens festival and there were large numbers of people doggedly trudging along the historic but rain-swept High Street. We stopped off at the old Guildhall, now an interesting museum of local history. Hazel recalled that when she last visited, the fine court chamber (see photo) was in use as a café. Sadly this had become a victim of austerity.
On leaving, a traditional Punch and Judy show was starting but we didn’t stay long enough to see how PC it was with regards to portrayal of domestic violence. Our route took us along the river Medway and up past the imposing castle to the Cathedral where we took a brief internal tour. Leaving Rochester we made our way to Chatham, enjoying good views of the Medway from Victoria Park. Continue reading SATURDAY 1st December: SAXON SHORE-WAY (3) ROCHESTER to GILLINGHAM (LINEAR
It was grey and miserable but 15 Polyramblers turned up for this walk in the Hertfordshire countryside. We started the walk through woodland and stopped to see the Welwyn tunnels but no train came out. The sun tried to come out but was not successful. We continued around Digswell through arable fields then went uphill, crossing Dawley Wood before arriving at the Plume of Feathers pub in Tewin just after it opened. The menu was varied and very good value. Suitably fed, we continued along fields to Burnham Green. It has a trig point on the green to mark one of the Hertfordshire Continue reading SATURDAY 24th: WELWYN NORTH (CIRCULAR):
21 walkers turned out for this unusual walk. Well, it was amazing weather! Sunshine all day, not too cold, no wind. What more could we have asked for! No clouds for Mike to explain to us! Most of the leaves had now fallen, so the forest was carpeted with gold and reddish-brown, soft underfoot as we climbed between the beech trees up to Loughton Camp, an Iron Age hill fort, (~500 BC), possibly used by the Trinovantes in defence against the Catuvellauni tribe. In those days there would have been none of the circles of tall pollarded trees all round us now and it would have been a good lookout point or a fortification for the protection of cattle. Continue reading 18th November. Epping Forest and Forest Bathing
A group of 16 Poly Ramblers and 3 guests gathered in Marlow on a mild and sunny November morning. The sky was blue and the autumn colours were fantastic. We knew that rain was forecast later but hoped we might avoid it. We headed towards the river, pausing briefly to admire the larger than life statue of Olympic rower, Sir Steve Redgrave. We crossed the town bridge and left the river behind, heading south across fields to cross a busy dual carriageway into Bisham Woods. There we had a short stop to sample Stuart’s homemade Anzac biscuits – very appropriate for the centenary of Armistice. Continue reading SATURDAY 10th NOVEMBER: MARLOW and COOKHAM DEAN (CIRCULAR):
Fifteen Polyramblers met at Paddington to join the 0942 GWR train to Twyford. This train gathered up 5 more members at Ealing and one more at West Drayton. At Twyford the 21 of us crossed the footbridge where we joined the little train to Shiplake. From the unstaffed halt at Shiplake (actually at Lower Shiplake), I phoned our numbers through to the lunch pub. Then we proceeded straight off the platform down a few steps onto a gravel path, then south down a lane and a path onto the Thames Path. Soon we were passing the rugby field pitches of Shiplake School, with rugby players in action, situated by the riverside. Continue reading 3rd November. Shiplake circular